When starting a fibromyalgia treatment regimen, many people consider making lifestyle changes first before resorting to medications such as antidepressants or prescription sleeping pills.
Some of the treatment fibromyalgia options include diet and exercise changes, education, physical therapy, emotional support, nutritional supplements and medications.
Lifestyle changes as part of a treatment for fibromyalgia are nice because it does not cost any money to make more intelligent decisions about what you put into your body. Also, it does not cost any money to go for a relaxing walk or jog through the neighborhood to get those endorphins flowing. Choose aerobic activities that are low impact and incorporate strength training in a fibromyalgia treatment regimen.
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Some people find meditation or yoga helpful as part of their personal treatment of fibromyalgia routine. These practices are also effective natural arthritis remedies. Self-hypnosis or help from a trained and certified hypnotherapist can give you a mental edge when dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia.
As part of their fibromyalgia treatment, some individuals opt for behavioral cognitive therapy. It may strengthen your beliefs in your own abilities and help you feel empowered to deal with pain and discomforts.
Making simple changes to your diet and getting plenty of rest can also help. Experts recommend avoiding caffeine because it may make it difficult to fall asleep. People searching for treatment of fibromyalgia already deal with sleep deprivation, and stimulants may aggravate the problem. Aim for at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep most days and catch up on sleep by taking short naps throughout the day as opposed to sleeping in late in the mornings.
Remember, the goal of your fibromyalgia treatment plan is not to become completely symptom free. Set more realistic goals for your individualized fibromyalgia treatment plan for reducing pain, relieving symptoms and improving sleep.
Focus on improving your general health. Most treatment of fibromyalgia includes lifestyle changes, exercise, physical therapy and behavior modification.
Physical therapists can play a key role in your fibromyalgia treatment plan by helping you improve your posture and flexibility. You may want them to devise a fitness routine. They will work with you on your fibromyalgia treatment plan, using ultrasound, electrical stimulation and massage.
Some people rely on prescription sleeping pills such as zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) to provide short-term relief but it’s not the ideal treatment for fibromyalgia because your body will probably grow resistant to the effects of the medication. In fact, it may make your sleep deprivation even worse.
Because of the potential for addiction and dependence, your doctor will probably not recommend narcotics for your fibromyalgia treatment.
Doctors also tend to avoid benzodiazepines for fibromyalgia treatment since several studies were conducted in the 1990s showing there are no long-term benefits and the potential for drug dependence.
Some of the medications that are more popular in the treatment of fibromyalgia include muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). Muscle relaxants taken at night may help treat muscle pain and spasms.
Antidepressants are also prescribed as part of fibromyalgia treatment plans. Some of the antidepressant medications that may be prescribed by your doctor include doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), trazodone (Desyrel) or amitriptyline (Elavil). Also, Fluoxetine (Prozac) in combination with amitriptyline may be prescribed.
If you are suffering with depression, some doctors may prescribe Sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) as part of the treatment of fibromyalgia. However, the side effects may be severe even in low doses. Side effects include increased appetite or loss of appetite, insomnia, constipation, dry eyes and mouth and nausea.
For relieving sleep disorders, reducing muscle pain and treating depression, some doctors will prescribe antidepressant agents known as tricyclics as part of fibromyalgia treatment. The tricyclic drug most commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia is amitriptyline (Elavil).
Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac and Effexor may also be prescribed for fibromyalgia treatment, but again, the side effects make the drugs undesirable for fibromyalgia treatment for some people.
All antidepressants have potentially serious, and even life-threatening, side effects. People wishing to avoid the side effects of antidepressants have choices for safe and effective fibromyalgia treatments available.
To ease pain and stiffness, your doctor may simply tell you to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).
Finally, even the use of over-the-counter pain relievers may cause serious side effects such as ulcers, stomach pain or internal bleeding. More serious complications associated with acetaminophen include kidney or liver damage so it’s not the first choice for fibromyalgia treatment. The best first line of defense is to adopt a balanced diet, exercise, try physical therapy and relaxation methods as well as find emotional support.
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